NJ Environmental Federation and coalition partners are working to protect Barnegat Bay, a critical ecoystem in New Jersey, from the damaging effects of Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (OC), one of the oldest nuclear power plants in the country with a history of numerous safety violations - including leaking radioactive waste.
Our coalition is leading the way in ensuring the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the State of New Jersey guarantee OC is safe to operate in a post-Fukushima world and after Hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy caused incredible damage at the Jersey Shore and surrounding areas, including causing increased safety risks at OC located along Barnegat Bay.
During the storm, flooding was just inches away from disrupting the plant's emergency cooling system. And now, plant officials have discovered "indications" - new cracks or precursors to cracks - in and around OC's reactor vessels and control rods and the evacuation plan has proven inadequate.
To that end, we are urging the NRC and the NJDEP's OC Safety Review Panel to do more to put the safety of our people and environment first. Oyster Creek should pose less, not more, risk of nuclear catasrophe post-Sandy than before. On January 7, 2013 we helped fill the room at the OC Safety Advisory Panel session, where we raised many safety concerns, but didn't get any answers. The panel said all comments made during the session will be compiled into a report released in the Spring. However, we believe the safety issues need to be addressed immediately - we should shut down OC until it's proven safe to operate and the emergency/ evacuation plan is updated.
Write a letter to NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin, chair of the Oyster Creek Safety Advisory Panel. Urge him to do all he can to ensure all safety issues are addressed at Oyster Creek now. For more information, read the news stories, press releases, and fact sheets below or contact us at email@example.com.
We have been a lead organizer to heighten awareness about the inherent safety flaws of the Oyster Creek - a General Electric Boiling Water Reactor of the same design as Fukushima - the nation's oldest operating commercial nuclear plant and without a closed cycle cooling system. We have forced the NRC and NJDEP to take a much tougher line with Oyster Creek including being parties to the recent NRC rulings that's put a halt to new nukes due to waste disposal issues. For more information, click here.
On December 16, 2010, we celebrated a victory when Governor Christie announced closure of Oyster Creek Nuclear plant in 2019 instead of NRC's permission to allow OC to operate through 2029. This announcement came as a result of our pressure to require cooling towers at the plant and Exelon's refusal to do so, leading to its ultimate shut down.
This early shutdown is a win for the long-term health of Barnegat Bay and a signal that water protection concers are key considerations at Oyster Creek and other plants nationwide. Nuclear plants, especially older ones like OC, pose serious water problems. In addition to leaks, these plants consume and waste large quantities of water in the cooling process. Throughout the entire nuclear cycle, from mining and processing into fuel, to plant operations and the still-unsolved waste management challenges, this technology places our water at risk and adds to the already-staggering costs.
The planned closure of OC also opens up new avenues for the state to pursue green technology and create jobs. We now have more tools at our disposal to save the Barnegat Bay and prevent future public and ecological harm from radiation, fish kills, and thermal pollution.
Even though the plant will shut down, a majority of the work force will be employed through a decommissioning phase that could last a decade, and the security and management of the tons of accumulated radioactive nuclear waste will continue forever.
NJ Environmental Federation will continue our work as advocates with the administration and all stakeholders to restore the bay, and ensure a just transition for workers.